Alexandra Canet Font, Wellcome Sanger Institute

Sanger spin-out Mosaic Therapeutics shows strength of Institute’s cancer research  

The company, Mosaic Therapeutics, spins out from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, translating the Institute’s cancer research expertise into a world-class drug discovery platform. 

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Mosaic Therapeutics is the latest company to spin out from the Wellcome Sanger Institute after securing an investment of £22.5M. 

The company was built on Sanger science and is developing a world-class drug discovery platform to identify genetic vulnerabilities in multiple different types of cancer that can be exploited to generate new medicines for patients. The spin-out’s strength resides in the team’s deep scientific knowledge, expertise and infrastructure which have been developed at the Sanger Institute for over a decade. 

Mosaic’s investment comes from Syncona Ltd, a leading healthcare company focused on creating, building and scaling a portfolio of global leaders in life sciences; and Cambridge Innovation Capital, whose aim is to back world-leading life sciences and technology companies with an affiliation to Cambridge.

Mosaic was founded by Dr Mathew Garnett, Head of the Translational Cancer Genomics Laboratory at the Sanger Institute; Adrian Ibrahim, former Head of the Technology Translation team at Sanger and Emile Voest, Chairman of the Board of Cancer Core Europe, Professor of Medical Oncology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, and Independent Director of the Board of Sanofi S.A. The Company has announced the appointment of former Novartis Oncology SVP Brian Gladsden as CEO. 

Mathew Garnett’s lab at the Sanger Institute delves into how genetic alterations contribute to cancer and how they influence patient responses to anti-cancer medicines using an exceptionally large-scale experimental and informatic platform that can reveal unique insights. Over the last 15 years,  Dr Garnett’s lab has worked with more than 1,000 cell lines and 250 organoids to run the lab’s large-scale experiments to guide cancer drug development.   These results are shared through four open access platforms on preclinical cancer models, genetic dependencies and targets, biomarkers and drug combinations. These have been accessed by over 100,000 users in the past 12 months, positioning the Garnett lab as a leading resource for therapeutics R&D.  

Mosaic Therapeutics was established in 2020 with initial funding from Sanger’s own Translation Committee Award and Innovate UK. It is based at the Wellcome Genome Campus, a hub of research and industry that is home to multiple institutes and companies. This includes the Wellcome Sanger Institute and EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), both of which champion genome and biodata research. 

“The Sanger Institute’s ability to carry out high-throughput genomic research at an exceptional scale enables unique insights into biology. Mathew Garnett, a leader in the field of cancer genomics, has used pipelines and infrastructure provided by the Institute to develop a world-class cancer target and drug discovery platform. The funding of Mosaic Therapeutics by top-tier investment firms to further leverage this platform and develop the next generation of cancer therapeutics highlights the potential for Sanger’s cutting-edge science to create significant improvements for human health.

Mariya Chhatriwala, Business Development Manager at Wellcome Sanger Institute

“The unprecedented insights provided by the genomic revolution have enabled more targeted drug development, with drug targets being de-risked by genetics or data. This approach to drug discovery is a focus for us at Syncona and Mosaic is a great example of a company built around this concept. With a differentiated strategy that can accelerate entry to the clinic, and the potential for application in a number of oncology settings in cancers which have previously been difficult to treat, we are excited for the potential of this platform. The opportunity for the Company, and most importantly for patients, is significant. I am thrilled that Brian has joined Mosaic to lead the next stage of the Company’s growth, and look forward to building this business in partnership with its world-class team.”

Magdalena Jonikas, Lead Partner at Syncona Investment Management Limited and Director of Mosaic

“We are delighted to invest in Mosaic Therapeutics and its outstanding founders, backing our third spin-out from the Wellcome Sanger Institute. We also welcome Brian, a seasoned oncology executive, to the team. Mosaic’s unique combination of advanced data science, large dataset mining and experimental approaches has the capability to identify and develop novel targeted therapies for the patient groups most likely to respond to these treatments. Cambridge (UK) is a globally important hub for biotechnology and life sciences, and Mosaic is a great example of innovation in the ecosystem.”

Anne Horgan, Partner at Cambridge Innovation Capital and Director of Mosaic

“At Mosaic, we aim to change the traditional way of treating cancer by using our understanding of genetics to select the best targets for drug development with an understanding of which individual patients will respond. As a scientist, it is immensely rewarding to use state-of-the-art technologies and expertise developed at the Sanger Institute to guide drug development. Mosaic will help to translate our discoveries and to more rapidly bring benefit to patients.”

Dr Mathew Garnett, co-founder of Mosaic Therapeutic and  Head of the Translational Cancer Genomics Laboratory at the Wellcome Sanger Institute

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